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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  April 17, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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how it may affect you. this is "special report." ♪ ♪ >> bret: good evening. i'm bret baier. today is tax day. when your income tax returns and payments are due. if you're a procrastinating americans who waited until the final hour to file, you may things can't get much worse or more confusing. chief national correspondent jim angle tells us what until you see what could happen next year. >> reporter: while many americans are scrambling to get this year's taxes in, analysts are warning about a bigger tax day. taxmageddon as in armageddon to characterize the effect on the u.s. economy. >> taxmageddon is $500 billion one-year tax hike hitting america january 1, 2013. >> the cax code is on a year to year lease and in some cases month to month lease.
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>> at the end of the year, some $500 billion in tax break expire at once to hit american household with tax increase of $3800 if congress doesn't act. it includes $165 billion for the expiration of the extended bush tax cut to push taxes from bottom rate of 10 to top of 35, to top rate of 3.6. cut in the child tax credit for 1,000 per child to $500. return of the marriage penalty, the tax on dividends would soar from 15 to 39.6%. and end the $124 billion payroll tax cut. end to the temporary fix of alternative tax, aimed at millionaires but which would hit $34 million taxpayers next year. expires cuts with all the income group but those at the low and middle incomes the hardest. >> taxmageddon falls 70% on midto low income families because 60% of the bush tax cut were for midto low income
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taxpayers. >> that could have economic effect including a drop in disposal income. >> economy that is 1 to 2 percentage point smaller than it otherwise would have been. unemployment that is a full percentage point higher than it otherwise would have been because of the tax hike. >> with all of that in the economy, wouldn't congress pact ordinarily yes. but this is a presidential election year. >> it's my guess that nothing will happen on any of the issues until after the election. >> here we have a case in which many in congress will be either retiring or unelected. maybe even a president, how do you fix a tax system with those, that kind of uncertainty? >> that is why one congressional source says the chances of a lame duck session are 100%. all of this raises the stakes for economy, because until congress acts, businesses can't know what the tax rates will be. making it hard to hire more workers or plan for the future, leaving both taxpayers and the economy a wash in
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uncertainty. bret? >> bret: something we're watching closely. jim, thank you. the president is going after high gasoline prices by going after wall street. today, he unfailed a crackdown on speculation that may or may not drive up the cost of gas. gasoline actually went down a fraction of a point overnight to $3.90 a gallon. but crude oil shot up to close at $104.20 a barrel. senior white house foreign affairs correspondent wendell goler. >> rose garden ceremony with the top law enforcement officer and market regulators the president announced plans to ask congress for more tools to fight speculation and oil markets. >> we can't afford a situation where some speculators can reap millions while millions of american families get the short end of the stick. >> with more investment in oil futures, pension, mutual and hedge fund, much is betting that oil prices will rise, mr. obama wants more trading cut. more powerful computer. tougher penalty and tighter
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limit to make sure that the speculators don't get a big enough share to affect prices. >> with the ultimate goal of giving consumers confidence, that illegal market manipulation and game-playing was not driving the price at the pump. >> republicans say the president has the tools he needs. >> he believes that the oil market is being manipulated. where is his federal trade commission? where is the sikh in he has agencies there. >> after pounding on mr. obama for high gasoline price, republicans feel he is trying to turn the tables by lining them up with oil companies. >> they pretty much summed it up. they said it's more about drawing a distinction. look, we don't need new distinctions. we need solutions. >> republicans say one answer to the energy problem that the president isn't pursuing aggressive enough is energy production. one analyst believe the
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u.s. has ten to 20 times the proven reserves that mr. obama cites when he says we can't drill out of the energy problem. if critics believe the president's push for alternative energy search has a bias against fossil fuels but he says it's part of an all of the above strategy and it's paying off. >> america imports less than half of the oil we use for the first time in more than a decade. we are less vulnerable than we were. but we're still too vulnerable. >> republicans say much of the ground work for the increased oil and gas production was maid in the bush administration. but white house says a lot of alternative energy gain belong to the current president. >> bret: thank you. america's largest maker of solar panels is laying off 2,000 workers and closing a plant in germany. first, solar is blaming poor demonday and increased competition from china. the company received billions in federal loan guarantees. the taxpayers are still on the hook for 16.3 million in federal tax credit to the
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company granted by the obama administration. lawmakers are so outraged that the general services administration, one of them today threatened to pull the agency apart. chief congressional correspondent mike emanuel shows us what happened in the second hearing inhe gsa outrageous spending of your tax dollars. >> a house panel grilled gsa officials for five hours with the chairman concluding that the general services administration had culture of fraud, waste and corruption and he demanded answers. >> that we continue to see that you are not giving us the information on bipartisan level to show us how the expenditures are happening. i am prepared to pull apart gsa. >> they have been under fire for the lavish las vegas conference in october of 2010, where attendees were treated to great luxury on the taxpayers. the man at the center of the las vegas event, jeff neely was a no-show at today's hearing after taking the fifth
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yesterday. >> i see why mr. neely is not with us today. the only pictures i can get of him are in the hot tub suite. >> investigators saying 115 electronic devices including ipods purchased for gsa award ceremonies were missing and one was traced to neely's daughter. inspector general revealed there was questionable travel after top gsa officials were warned about neely's multiple planning trips to las vegas an the pricy conference there, including a 17-day trip to the south pacific. >> we were concerned this is unnecessary trip and waste of money. you saw the e-mail, birthday gift her his wife. we're party. we're going to party like your party. >> the anger wasn't restricted to just republicans. >> this agency has some of their people in washington that don't have accountability though the line runs straight up to them. that is very, very troubling.
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>> there was some criticism why it took so long for the issues at gsa to surface. miller described the enormous nature of the problem. >> we turned over every stone and every time we turned over a stone we found 50 more with all sorts of things crawling out. >> again today, there were more questions about what the white house knew and when. after yesterday in testimony, it was revealed that gsa chief of staff tipped off a contact in the white house counsel office last june. the former gsa administrator says there were not actual meetings with the white house until a month ago. bret? >> bret: mike, the senate budget committee chairman today said he will introduce a version of the simpson-bowles deficit reduction plan, instead of the democratic budget plan. take a listen. >> what we do not have is a long-term plan. that is what we must now work on. an that is what i will be proposing tomorrow. the fiscal commission budget plan provides comprehensive and balanced deficit reduction
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framework. it's not perfect. but it does represent middle ground. >> bret: what can you tell us about this? >> bret, sources close to senator conrad say he is being realist. not bringing it up for a vote. recognizing the political season. he is planning to hold off until after the election when he is hopeful that members of both parties will be serious about doing something serious about the long-term debt issues. so he is going to bring it up to the committee for discussion this week but is not planning to bring it up for a vote until probably after the election. bret? >> bret: i think it's 1 ,085 days republicans say democrats haven't voteded on a budget. mike up on capitol hill. thank you. stocks were up big today. the dow added 194 points. s&p 500 closed 21 ahead. nasdaq was up 54. after the break, friends who do not appear to be so friendly right now.
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>> bret: there are renewed tension between u.s. and israel over israel's tensions with iran. chief washington correspondent james rose season here to tell us what is happening. good evening. >> good evening. israel top military official pointedly reminded the obama administration today that the jewish state will chart its own course where possible airstrikes against iran's nuclear facilities are concerned. defense min stray made comments ahead of thursday's planned meeting in washington with the u.s. defense secretary. he told the israeli army radio his government has not promised to hold off on the action while they await the next round of the long running talk with iran set for may 23 in baghdad. "we are not committing to anything barrack, the former president said. adding "there is not, has not been, should not be and cannot be such a promise." >> i think from their point of view, maintaining tactical
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surprise is very important to the chances of success in the military operation. so it's in their interest to leave everybody guessing. just as it's in their interest to ramp down all talk of military action. >> hillary clinton traveling yesterday shot down a trial balloon float it by iran's floren minister and suggested the islamic regime might take concrete step to rein in the program if they agree to lift the punitive economic sanctions on iran. >> we are going to keep the sanctions in place and the pressure on iran, as they consider, you know, what they will bring to the table in baghdad. and we'll respond accordingly. >> israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu criticized the u.s. and its partners in the dialogue with iran for letting five weeks elapse before the next talks are
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held. lull that benjamin netanyahu called a freebie where iran could with no threat of punishment continue enriching urainum. president obama shot back that the u.s. isn't "given anything away." bret? >> bret: james, thank you. in world headlines, afghanistan's president says he will not stop calling the taliban brothers. hamid karzai is also demanding the u.s. specify exactly how much money it will give to afghan security forces in coming years. karzai spoke to an audience of university students today in kabul. the syrian cease-fire continues to crumble. it was more shelling today in homs after a one-day break last week on the first day of the truce. meantime, france's foreign minister says international sanctions have wipeded out half of syria's currency reserves. north korea is accusing the u.s. of what it calls overt acts of anmety. the north isup set that the u.s. suspended the deal to provide food aid in exchange for nuclear moratorium. the u.s. says north korea
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broke its end of the agreement with a failed rocket launch last week. we're learning more tonight about what happened last week in columbia. that triggered one of the biggest scandals in the history of the secret service. chief intelligence correspondent catherine herridge has the latest. good evening. >> reporter: thank you, bret. in addition to the 11 secret service agents on administrative leave, u.s. officials confirm ten members of the u.s. military, including special forces implicated in the scandal. republican senator suzanne collins whose homeland security committee has oversight of the secret service briefed by director collins. they said there were serious security breaches because the agents could have been targeted by kidnappers using the alleged prostitutes as bait. given the scale of the party, 21 americans and 21 alleged prostitutes, collins told the secret service chief the problem may run deep. >> i am deeply troubled about how many people were involved. it wasn't just one or two. it was 11.
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and that suggests to me, unfortunately, a broader problem. >> cultural problem? >> a culture problem and also i find it hard to believe that it hasn't happened in other countries, and on to other important missions. >> fox news was told there was an argument at the end of the night over payment between one of the secret service agents and one of the women at the hotel. prostitution is legal in colombia so-called tolerance zone. so the woman called in the police, other agents are offering a heavily embroidered cover story. >> i know that some of the agents have claimed that they were just watching television, with the women. some apparently has admitted to engaging prostitutes. >> publicly the white house is standing by the secret service director who is now facing his third major scandal. >> the president has confidence in director sullivan, director acted swiftly in response to this
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incident. and is over seeing the investigation. that obviously needs to be conducted. >> late today, spokesman for the secret service said they are investigating whether a copy of the president's schedule was left in the room. ed donovan told fox, "i'm not saying it's impossible but my experience is telling me it's unlikely." but the investigation, he saded "has no limits." >> bret: we'll continue to follow it. thank you. still ahead, what stay-at-home moms are saying about their jobs and the election. first, a moment of discovery in washington. [ male announcer ] a car is either luxury or it isn't.
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nearly two dozen companies manufacturered government issued trailers for hurricane katrina and rita will pay
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$15 million to set the lawsuit. people who lived in the shelters say they were exposed to hazardous fumes. it could benefit tens of thousands of gulf coast residents. the senate is debating a bill to slow or stop the process of closing thousands of post offices in an election year. it is considered an $11 billion cash infusion. senators would then delay decisions on closings and determination of saturday mail delivery. people here in washington were outside their homes and offices this morning to see something you don't see every day. most of them may never see again. correspondent doug mckelway reports on the final flight of the space shuttle discovery. >> it came in so low and slow over the nation's capital you could make out the individual pile on discovery. scorched and faded from 365 days in space in 39 missions over 27 years. >> it was awesome. incredit to believe be part of it. >> the drive-by resembles fly by that touched down at dulles
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airport and the permanent display at the nearby smithsonian space annex marks the end of its life. >> we've always had issues with our president. we have always had financial issues. but we have always had the ability to do these things. that should not constrain us. >> more promising than in the past. we're right now across the country building vehicles to take to us flight than before. orion, dragon and dream chaser. not only service the international space station, but wonderful program we've built in the last decade. go beyond mars. >> exploration.
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>> with the national debt and deficit spending up to unprecedented levels some fear u.s. manned flight might be on extended hiatus. to raise money for the national program could cost $15 to $16 billion. the u.s. remains entirely dependent on are you thatsha to get the astronauts to and from the international space station. that fact prompted remarks. when asked if there was any advice, the response was bloody russians. bret? >> bret: doug mckelway live in dulles. thank you. john edwards sees dramatic cut of one expense. and see what congress says there are more earmarks. we'll see about that next in the grapevine. smoking with chan. when the doctor told me that i could smoke for the first wee.. i'm like...yeah, ok... little did i know that one week later i wasn't smoking. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking.
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make that new stouffer's steam meal so tasty. actually, the milk from my farm makes it so creamy, right dad. ah, but my carrots have that crunch. it's my milk in the rich sauce coating the chicken and the pasta. boys! don't you think stouffer's steam perfect bag
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should get some credit? my carrots. my milk. my carrots. my milk. [ female announcer ] new from stouffer's. farmers' harvest steam meals for one in the steam perfect bag seal in all the goodness. they taste so good, we'll bet the farm on it. nestle. good food, good life. carrots! creamy! >> bret: now political grapevine. congress is handing out fewer earmarks with less of your money but there is less accountability. that's from the congressional pig book on the pork barrel spend project of 2012. citizens against government waste find paths decrease by 98% since 2010. an the cost has dropped 80%. questionable items are still getting funded. highlights include $255 million to upgrade the tank that is opposed by the pentagon. $150 million for the united
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nations democracy fund despite the obama administration never requesting such funding. and $3 million for aquatic plant control. saturday, rocker and mitt romney supporter ted nugent called the obama administration evil and added if president obama gets re-elected, "i will either be dead or in jail by this time next year." the democratic national committee pounced calling the remarks deplorable and demanding romney denounce them. romney's camp said the candidate believes everyone needs to be civil. white house press secretary jay carney punted today saying we can't police statements of all supporters. finally, former democratic presidential candidate john edwards traded in salon haircuts for super cuts. the "new york post" reports employees at the raleigh north carolina supercuts shop count edwards as a client saying he gets the $12.95 trim. he was famous for getting $400 haircuts from a beverly hills stylist. the post points out he could
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get them for free in federal prison if he is found guilty of violating campaign finance laws. ♪ ♪ >> new opinion poll shows president obama leading romney by 14 points among women. president gets 51%. romney, 37%. last week, democratic operative said romney's wife ann stay-at-home mom had never worked a day in her life. tonight, soon your national correspondent john roberts gets some reaction. >> michelle led the career at ibm in 2004 to be a full-time mom. anna is the youngest of three children. >> look at me. >> michelle's take on what hillary rosen said about ann romney -- >> it's a lot. a lot of women have gone to college and a number of women who choose to stay at home sacrifice their income potential because they are going for a greater goal an in
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their mind. >> it was a greater goal that drove holly to leave her job in real estate, despite the financial hardship it's quadsed. holly's mother was rarely home or there for her. >> i guess that is the crux, isn't it? >> she vows that her daughter grace's childhood will be different. >> there is something to be said. there is something great to be said for women, for men who feel called to stay at home and raise their children. it gives the children a firm foundation in who they are. >> lisa has a harvard mba. 16 years ago she left her career to raise her son. she is now back at work managing the medical practice. swing voter, he is was stunned by rosen's comments about ann romney. >> i heard all of this, all the messages from the
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democratic party that there was a war on women, you know, from the republican party. so, it's, you know, all of it wasn't making sense. >> for all the talk of a war on women, michelle, holly and lisa count the economy and jobs among their top issue. >> i don't know a single person out there that is not concerned about the tax situation. about the future of our energy policy and the impact of gas and what we're going to do to have a degree in energy independence. >> i get multiple phone calls a day from people that i owe money to. it's just embarrassing. it's embarrassing. i wish i could pay them the money. i wan our debt cleared. cleared. it's not going to be cleared until the economy turns around. >> they told me there is little difference between the issues they care about as women and what men are concerned about. why is mitt romney more popular among men and president obama among women? >> i think on the whole that there is a more, maybe
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visionary quality to him that appeals more to the way women think. with romney, and our country. >> every year there is a bat 8, every four years there is a battle for women voters, soccer moms, security moms. this year it's who appeals to the economy moms. >> bret: very interesting. not the end of this conversation. thank you. there are some new riders on the mitt romney bandwagon tonight. chief political correspondent carl cameron reports the presumptive republican nominee took advantage of national angst over taxes today. by getting president obama for his tax fund. >> mitt romney marks tax day with the policy layen picnic table discussion in pennsylvania park. >> the president wants to raise taxes for small business. vice president proposed a tax that he said is a global tax
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on business. not sure what that is. but that will conserve and cost jobs as well. >> romney would lower taxes on businesses and personal income and eliminate them on capital gains and dividend for families earning over $250,000 a year. the democrats failed to pass the so-called buffett rule. >> not a tax with much of an impact. someone calculated that the tax would raise enough revenue to pay for government for 11 hours. so it was more of a gimmick. >> 69% of republicans and 80% of g.o.p. conservatives view romney favorably. both career highs. the top two elected republicans in the country join today. >> i will be proud to support mitt romney and do everything i can to help him win. >> i support governor romney for president of the united states. he will be the nominee. >> the democrats tried to make romney personal tax returns part of the fight. he made 2010 public and plans to release more when the 2011 is submitted. he filed for an extension.
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democrats act cryptically what else is romney hiding in romney's likability has taken a hit. 35% view him favorably, but 47% don't. president obama, 56% favorable, 40% unfavorable. to fight back and win, team romney hopes to raise and spend $1 billion between now and november. romney and the rnc plan to raise $800 million. super pacs expected to bankroll $200 million in attack ads. donald trump and his wife hosted mrs. romney in $600,000 fundraising lunch in manhattan today. separately, herman cain who dropped out of the race and endorsed gingrich said it's time for gingrich to drop out. in washington, carl cameron, fox news. >> bret: partial victory tonight for arizona's voter i.d. law. an appeals court upheld the requirement to show identification before they cast ballots but it says the rule requiring proof of citizenship to register does not supersede the national
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voter registration act. the tax day version of the fox all-stars will talk about the president tax policies. plus, the democratic budget question. we'll be right back. ? well, we purchase 3 million a year. you just sold one right now didn't you? that's correct. major brands. 11 major brands. oop,there goes another one. well we'll beat anybody's advertised price. and you just did it right there, what's that called? the low price tire guarantee. wait for it, there goes another one. get a $100 rebate, plus the low price tire guarantee during the big tire event. look at that. it's happening right there every five seconds. your not going to run out are you? no.
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a $500 billion one-year tax hike that hits the economy on january 1, 2013. it's the result of a bunch of tax policies expiring and some tax hikes kicking in from obamacare. and we call it taxageddon because it will be armageddon for the economy should it hit. >> it's my guess that nothing will happen on any of the issues until after the election. which means that we have a small, virtually one-month window after the election to deal with all the major issues before the entire tax system collapses and expires on december 31.
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>> bret: there is a lot pending. they call it taxmageddon. the tax break expire all at once and hit americans on average $3800 each household if congress does not act. what about this in the future on this tax day? let's bring in the panel. steve hayes, for "weekly standard." a.b. stoddard associate editor of the hill. and syndicated columnist krout krout krout. a.b., there is a -- charles krauthammer. a.b., there is a lot pending. it doesn't seem like action prior to the election. >> right. >> this is truly everyone is calling at it fiscal storm. it's no joke. it is going to take place after the election. that is the problem. the same time that the tax cuts expire, the unemployment insurance, the medicare doc fix, all the things, the spending cuts that were decided by the debt deal of august of 2011 will also kick in. and part and republicans in particular seeking to stop or change these very deep
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pentagon pending cuts. two tracks of fighting. one on the tax policy and one on, you know, how to change the cuts that we already promised we would make. >> bret: potential is if you wait until what is called lame duck congress, that have to deal with the issues. >> both parties are hoping that the political leverage they win the election will determine the outcome. the problem for that, save for house republicans to their credit are trying to draw up some kind of a plan in advance. about what their position is. to campaign on in the fall. details are hard to come by. because everyone is hoping they will be able to back the other party in a conner in the five-week period. that is tough because it looks like a closed election and we could have an election where neither party has a mandate. perhaps president obama squeaks by in re-election and the republicans have the senate. maybe even loss house seats. so they have the congress who
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has the leverage then? it's very, very tough to manual all of this policy change with the economy on the brink in the three-week period or five-week period before christmas. >> bret: steve? >> yes, it is. it's hard to imagine that. but that is exactly what is going to happen. in the piece that we played earlier, the expectation was 100% chance of holding back. if you talk to everyone on capitol hill everybody will echo that. there is so much that needs to be done, it guarantees that it will be done poorly. you just can't take this amount of policy change that needs to happen and do it well in that short period of time. >> bret: charles, this is why people hate washington. all of these things have to be done. there is a huge list that has to be addressed. as washington is debating, none of this is up on capitol hill right now. >> the republicans have a budget.
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this is the president. the fact it's expiring after election day, two months after election day, there is not a chronological action with the calendar. it's a deliberate reel to the policy that obama pursued in settling the debt ceiling dispute. last august, he timed it and he said i need a long-term solution. what does he mean by long-term? something that will not come up again until after election day. all of this is a punt by a president who refuses to talk about what he wants to do. what taxes he will raise, what he won't raise, the doc fix. all of these elements which he would rather leave until he is supposedly re-elected. instead what he has is the republican budget which is serious, it makes choices. it gives him a target and he attacks it. it's completely result of the abdoevation of any responsible action by the democrat in the white house. and as you mention in the
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senate, which now on april 29 will be three years since it submitted a budget. the budget is a blueprint. government to choose a set of choices. republicans have made them the democrats haven't. and they want to run on no program, no future, explanation about what will be done simply against the republicans. >> bret: a.b., for all of the talk about the so-called buffett rule, and all of the events we have seen on this particular issue, these expiring tax cuts would hit low and middle income families the hardest. >> they will hit everybody. the spending cuts are also going to have an effect on the economy. there is going to be some great pain. i think steve is right. the worst part about it is that it will be saved for after the election. there is no chance to come up with comprehensive tax reform in a five-week period. what is going to happen is they will pick an choose and the great moment of tension and end up with i think a series of temporary fixes and
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go back at it and back at it. >> we should be clear about the economic impact of this. if this were to happen, if taxes were all to be raised at the same time, we would be catapulted back in recession. virtually nobody disagrees with that. you have both the private and the public sector economists who made projections. >> the defend it to say i can't deal with this, washington can't in an election year. what about last year? and the year before and the year before? he has been in office for three years, all of which were non-presidential election years. he did nothing on tex reform -- tax reform. that's why we hit the wall. three-week window in december, people, many of whom will have lost an election, make decision to last for a decade. >> bret: meantime, republicans point out that the senate democrats have not passed a budget in 1 ,085 days. today, the house -- the senate budget chairman ken conrad said he is going to propose and mark up in committee the
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simpson-bowles proposal, the deficit reduction plan that is bipartisan. but it will not deal it, move it from committee until after the election. what about this, a.b.? the politics here. >> senator conrad is leaving. he won't be here after the election. except for the lame duck congress. she not holding a mark up. his markup is when you mark up and change legislation and then you vote on it and bring it to the floor. he is not going to hold a vote. this is actually a hearing of a well-known document, the simpson-bowles, deficit reduction plan that everyone in washington is now very acquainted with. he got a lukewarm reception from the leadership. this is not possible to see a senate vote. senate majority leader harry reid is not allowing the kind of votes that would open up the vulnerable members to political commercials. and this is how he chooses to run the senate. there will be no budget. >> this is complete and utter con. senator conrad by all accounts
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is a serious guy. this is a very unserious thing he is doing. what he is doing have s having a show trial to shift debate. the debate right now, i think the republicans successfully argued on one hand you have paul ryan, arhats republicans in the republican party, more broadly, embraced paul hine plan and embrace the entitlement reform, made decisions that could have political consequences. then you have democrats this have done nothing. that is the current state of the debate. conrad wants to change it and wants democrats to say if they choose to, they are not bound to it because they won't vote. that they offered up simpson-bowles and simpson-bowles against the ryan plan. that is what -- every time republicans say you haven't done anything, they can say we offered up simpson-bowles. >> a wash. not a hear, not a budget, it's a farce. >> next up, the final flight of the discovery. and the future of manned space flight. [ horn honks ]
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we have always had issues with the budget, financial issues but we always had the ability to continue to do big things. and that should not constrain us. i >> hate to see the shuttle program end. glad that shut the coming here. i think people 50 years from now, 100 years from now will come to see the real, real shuttle. >> this is the sight over washington, d.c. today. 27 years of service. shuttle discovery flying back to dulles airport in a permanent display at the smithsonian air and space museum annex there, ending its life. a lot of people were out and about looking at it. it was quite a sight over the
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nation's capital today. what does it mean? is it a metaphor for the end of manned space flight in the u.s.? back with the panel. charles? >> well, at least it's at least a temporary one. i caught a glimpse of it. it was a profoundly exciting, but also profoundly sad moment. after all, is there a better symbol of willed and delivered american decline than the fact we're watching this spacecraft and we're thrilled. in fact, it's headed to its death to an internment, to embalming. like lennin in red square. this is not a ship that will go up in the air again. i saw a launch ten years ago and one of the most amazing events i've ever seen. three miles away for safety. and the sound and the vibration hits you after 20 seconds. but what i think is the point that is so depressing here, is that we were so far ahead in
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space, the shuttle itself was probably not the best machine. it was okay for its time. but it was inefficient and dangerous. the problem is not the cancellation of the shuttle. it's the fact that we canceled the follow-on. we now have to beg the russians, as a way to get in to space. we who left the russians in the dust ten years ago in the race to the moon. obama speaks of america not doing great things. well, the manned space program is a great accomplishment. it's now in decline and disintegrating. he spends money on windmills and algae but drains that out and what is happening is the high-tech stuff he promotes as the future innovation. scientists are leighing space and ending up in other places. it will take decade to reconstitute it. sad ending, thrilling as it was to see it in the air today. >> bret: a.b., there was a live report on affiliate here covering this today. this is what they said.
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talking to a little child who was dressed up as an astronaut, do you want to be an astronaut when you grow up? the child said yes. reporter said you know what? we have a live astronaut over here, this is dr. anna fisher, she flew on discovery. any advice for ethan, an aspiring astronaut? she said study russian. everyone laughed and the reporter said study russian and perhaps chinese. you can hear sadness in some of the people's voices. >> i agree with what charles is saying but this is a relic from another time. over 40 years only $210 billion. that's chicken scratch now. i would never have been started in this political climate. in this fiscal reality. we can no longer afford to dominate in something like manned space exploration. it's true. charles is right. the shuttle program was supposed to lend a path to moon and mars.
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there is no path to mars. >> bret: steve? >> i agree with a.b. i understand why charles was saddened today. but like lennin in red square, there will be other iteration of manned space flight, they just won't be from the government. we are seeing the shift when we have the deficit we have. it's a fraction of the debt. but these are programs that may have once been worthwhile no longer able to be paid for by the taxpayers. to fund the projects. we are seeing a shift that started several years ago and continue a pace in the future. >> bret: two on one here, charles. >> they're both wrong. >> there will be humans in space. russian and chinese will be on the moon. walking in foot prints we laid and abandoned. >> bret: that is it for the panel.
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